- The Fall of Hyperion
- The Rise of Endymion
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First published in 1989, Dan Simmons's Hugo Award-winning Hyperion is one of the undisputed classics of modern science fiction. The opening movement of a hugely ambitious multi-volume epic, it is both a masterpiece of pure storytelling and a visionary meditation on the future development of the human race.
The narrative takes place some seven hundred years from now, at a time when humanity has left Old Earth behind and has begun to colonize the worlds between the stars. At a critical moment, with interstellar war about to begin, seven travelers are summoned to a pilgrimage on a distant planet called Hyperion, where ancient mysteries are taking on a new and sudden urgency. At the heart of these mysteries are the Time Tombs, enigmatic artifacts that appear to be traveling backward in time, and the savage, barbed creature known as the Shrike.
Included among these seven pilgrims are a soldier, a poet, a scholar, a priest, and a private detective. As they make their way toward their destination, they tell each other stories, transforming the novel into a far-future version of The Canterbury Tales. These varied, highly personal tales form the heart of this extraordinary book. Individually, they offer highly developed examples of narrative art. Collectively, they set the stage for the wonders, terrors, and revelations to come. The result is a remarkable—and durable—accomplishment that remains fresh and exciting more than two decades after its initial appearance. Hyperion, together with its successors, does what only the finest imaginative literature can do: It creates and populates a complex, extravagantly detailed universe more vivid, vital, and consistently enthralling than our own everyday world. Popular fiction just doesn't get better than this.
The Fall of Hyperion is the second and final volume of Dan Simmons’s award winning Hyperion Cantos. By the time the novel begins, much of significance has already taken place. Interstellar war between the Hegemony of Man and the quasi-human Ousters has begun. The pilgrims making their way toward their confrontations with the Shrike have told their stories. And the identity of the rumored traitor within the pilgrims’ camp has been revealed. With these elements firmly in place, an extraordinary vision of the future is ready to unfold.
The story comes to us through the voice of Joseph Severn, an artificially created "cybrid" uniquely placed to describe every level of the narrative. Joseph sits in on the private war councils of Hegemony CEO Meina Gladstone while also maintaining a telepathic link with the pilgrims on Hyperion. Through these artfully shifting perspectives, we follow the individual destinies of a diverse group of characters, all of whom we have come to know in intimate detail. At the same time, we follow the larger, overarching destiny of mankind itself.
The Fall of Hyperion is both a grand, superbly written adventure and a work of great intellectual rigor. In the course of telling an enthralling story, it examines the problematic relationship between humanity and its own artificially intelligent creations, ponders complex questions of moral and ethical responsibility, and offers a visionary examination of the primal importance of empathy and love, qualities "as hardwired into the structure of the universe as gravity itself." Like its predecessor, and like the two Endymion novels which would follow, The Fall of Hyperion delights, amazes, and enriches its readers at every turn. It is, and will remain, one of a major American writer’s most remarkable achievements.